Every one of us is a leader in our own right. Whether we lead an entire company, or a team of people, or a group of friends, or our families, or just ourselves…we are all leaders in some form or fashion. Whatever size our circle of influence may be today, if we work to improve as leaders, that circle of influence will enlarge.
I have been in positions of leadership my entire career, and during those years I have learned much about the difference between being a bad leader and being a good leader. Some lessons I learned the hard way, through trial and error followed by the humility that comes from overcoming those mistakes. Other lessons I learned through observing those I esteemed to be great leaders whose example I sought to follow. Through it all I found several traits that I believe are necessary for someone to be what I consider a true leader:
True leaders know who they are and what they stand for. They know their values and the rules they will abide by, regardless of the circumstances they face. They allow their people to understand the values they are committed to uphold, which lays a foundation for the rules their people will be expected to adhere to. True leaders both know and communicate their values openly with the people they lead, creating an atmosphere of certainty and trust.